Rise in hunger an appalling relapse

Ding, South Sudan. Ding came with other people on a five day journey looking for food. Image credit: Bruno Bierrenbach Feder/Oxfam
Ding, South Sudan. Ding came with other people on a five day journey looking for food. Image credit: Bruno Bierrenbach Feder/Oxfam

For the first time in more than a decade, the United Nations reported a sharp increase in hunger around the world.

Reacting to the news, Oxfam International’s executive director Winnie Byanyima said:
“This is a disgraceful failure of our international leaders and institutions. The ground we’ve painstakingly gained throughout the years can easily be lost; today is proof of that. This is the ugly truth of inequality: hundreds of millions going hungry, while a handful of multi-billionaires gorge more wealth than all combined.”  

The UN report largely attributes the increase on “the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks,” and points to the role they played in the famine in South Sudan, as well as the high risk of famine in Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen.

“Hunger is not about a lack of food; we grow more than enough to feed the world. We must find real, lasting solutions to the root problems. This means pushing for peaceful resolutions to violent conflicts; it means curbing carbon emissions and helping communities adapt to the changing climate now; it means investing in women, who are at higher risk of falling into hunger than men."

The hunger crisis continues to claim lives, with millions of people in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger and Uganda facing ongoing displacement and droughts. 

Oxfam is hard at work helping those in need in the countries affected by famine. 

Oxfam's Public Health Promotion Officer Agnes Angua oversees Oxfam's distribution of buckets, soap and collapsible jerrycans in Wau's UNMISS Protection of Civilians site. Image Credit:  Elizabeth White/Oxfam

In Ethiopia we are supporting more than 600,000 people with clean water, cash transfers, protection, livestock treatment and hygiene promotion. In South Sudan, we are providing regular emergency food to 415,000 people and racing to get emergency food, water and hygiene items to another 150,000 forced to flee their homes, in the hopes of keeping diseases like cholera at bay.

Our programs also work to provide greater normalcy in times of crisis, recognizing the need to empower and protect women in particular. We provide them with access to the resources they need to survive and support themselves, their families and their communities.

Read more about our response to the hunger and famine crisis here.

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